Saturday, February 15, 2014

Feeling the Love...

...that I survived this week. This time of year the drama among fourth graders is reeling out of control. Top that off with a reading benchmark test, flu running rampant through the school, Jump Rope for Heart, Valentine's Day, and a full moon, and you have nothing but pandemonium! Somehow, I made it through the madness and even had some fun along the way.

The Valentine's Day party was really my highlight. I had asked in a group of teacher-bloggers who had ideas for a class party that was meaningful, fun, and low-key, and Tonya Roller of Tonya's Treats for Teachers came to the rescue. She does a brilliant activity for Valentine's Day, and I "stole" it and put my own twist on it for my class. I call it Valentine Compliment Posters, and here is Tonya's post about how she does it with her class.

Most of what I did was very similar to her, but I did it all at school. I sent a note home to parents explaining what we would be doing so that they knew not to buy the cheap paper Valentines that get thrown away the next day. I had each student write a compliment about every other student on strips of paper. Then we organized the strips into baggies, one for each student's compliments. My school provides poster board, so we used that. And I had students donate other Valentine-themed craft supplies such as stickers, paper, foam hearts, pom poms, etc. All this was done prior to party day in spare time as students finished other work.

Yesterday afternoon, on party day, I gave each student a poster board and ANOTHER student's compliments. They could choose the craft supplies they wanted to use to create a compliment poster for a student (not themselves) in the class. The results were beautiful! I loved reading all the good things they had to say about each other, and they really worked hard on creating posters for each other.

I did have one student absent for the party, so I let early finishers work together to create his poster. And other early finishers worked together to create a lovely one for me as well. It will hang in a coveted spot on my classroom wall for as long as it lasts.

I loved this project, and the students did too. They all went home happily with a poster describing just how awesome they all are. How much more meaningful than a Spongebob Valentine?

Stay tuned soon to see how my Go For the Gold Division Facts Olympic Challenge went in my class. Here's a hint: everyone earned a medal!

1 comment:

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